Shooting

And so it’s autumn, all of a sudden. The leaves are turning, nights are a bit chilly, there has been rain (hurray for that!), darkness comes earlier, but most of all, it’s that very special light that tells me it’s time to grab the camera and go out. Photography is painting with light, as some wise person once said, so in that sense, autumn light is my favourite colour. Since I’m planning to built a very basic website to keep track of our trips with Lilly, and document the sights we’ve seen and things we did (like our recent trip to the falconry), we took Lilly out for a ride and mini foto shooting yesterday. Here’s my favourite photo so far (please click to enlarge):

I can’t wait for our holidays to start on Monday! With luck, and if the weather holds, we’ll take Lilly out for some lovely rides around the countryside. It has turned out to be one of the most amazing, and most beautiful, adventures of our life so far, and while I still refuse to be called a „biker“, I am embracing this feeling of being an enthusiast.

2018 / 2019 – Weeks 6 – 8

The best news first: temperatures are cooling down, we’re getting back to enjoying our regular German summer at 25° – 28° C. Thank heavens for that! I felt like my brain was beginning to melt in that 36° C heatwave.

The most exciting news next: Steve passed his driving test on 10th August and now is officially allowed to drive any motorcycles without restrictions! We went on our first ever trip together on 11th August (not far, though, we just went over to my mom’s to show off Lilly), and it was so much fun. I love to drive with him, and I’m so looking forward to going on some longer tours in the future. My mom kindly took a photo of us just before we headed back home, so here’s a cherished reminder of our first ever trip together:

Hopefully, there’ll be some warm, sunny days during the last two weeks in September when we’re both on vacation, we might go out for some day trips then. I’ll make sure to bring my camera and snap along.

In crafty terms, not much happened during the last few weeks. It was too hot to do anything yarn-related, I wasn’t really in the mood for sewing (infact, all I wanted to do was sit in the fridge and read peacefully), and frankly, I didn’t feel like running around in the heat and taking photos. I did start some smaller projects, though – started a new project book in a beautiful clear planner to have all my project notes and ideas ready at hand at any time, started a smash book for all my magazine clippings (not much in it yet but already such an incredible source of inspiration), and did some decluttering. I managed to finish the pair of socks for my friend, now I just have to weave in the ends, put a little card together, and off they go.

Steve got all crafty and made this:

(The  bench, of course, not the pillows, I made them a few years ago. 😉 )  It’s not entirely finished because he ran out of paint but it’s quite nice. We will need big pillows to make it more comfortable to sit on, and I might put small flower pots in the spaces on top of the recline, and he is planning on making a second one, a one-seater just for me.

I just had to try and see what the Waver will look like on our new bench, and yes, I think it’s going to look lovely. I managed to crochet a few rows on the blanket, it’s such a mindless pattern, and to be honest, I can’t wait to use up more of my sock yarn leftovers. I’m growing kind of tired of my stash and all the clutter it causes, so part of my vacation will be spent sorting through my stash, deciding on what I really really REALLY want to keep, and getting rid of stuff I don’t want or need anymore (not just stash stuff but also clothes I haven’t worn in ages, books I don’t want anymore, household items as well … well, you get the idea). I find that I need a clean house with a place for everything and everything in its place to be able to breathe and function properly. I also found out that I have four copies of one of my favourite books, all of them aquired for free from various book huts and mini libraries (that is not counting the ebook on Skoobe), and no matter how much I like that book, four copies seems to be a little exaggerated. To help with the stashdown, I joined a Ravelry group, and am going to do the „Fall back into love Stash Dash“. It’s not too overwhelming, even with my somewhat busy schedule.

I’m not just weeding out stuff, I’m also weeding out habits. I’ve found that I’ve come to dislike Facebook more and more. I was never a fan to begin with, and only joined on request of a friend who thought it would be easier to stay in touch that way. I stayed because I discovered a number of groups that matched my interests – but honestly, I can have all that on Ravelry, and so much more drama free, and without political (or sometimes even downright dumb) comments of friends‘ friends that I’m not interested in reading. So I’ll shut down my Facebook account at the end of the month. I will keep Instagram because I still love the challenge of improving my cell photography abilities, and also because I recently found out that I can link my Instagram account to Ravelry, and use my Insta photos for my projects. It will make getting new projects into Rav so much easier. And next to go, after Facebook, will be my Flickr account. I only used it for my Rav photos anyway, and apparently, I don’t need it anymore. I will delete my older projects on Rav and start all anew – I so love fresh starts!

In the spirit of starting anew, I decided to cast on a sweater with a lovely yarn I bought a month or so ago when a LYS closed down:

This is Lang Yarns Ella, and yes, the name was part the reason I bought it. 😉 That and the price of 50 cents per ball. I’ve got more than enough for a sweater in this red colourway, and a few odd balls in other colours as well. My first idea was to make a top down raglan but due to the irregularity of the yarn, I just didn’t like the look of it as a raglan. See here:

Parts of it are so see-through that I will definitely have to wear a top of sorts underneath, and that just doesn’t speak „raglan“ to me. So instead, I’m going to make a huge boxy sweater, bottom up, and add sleeve stitches on the go, and make a really huge open neckline. It’s going to be a light summer sweater, the kind that slips off your shoulder if you let it, and it’s going to be so light-weight that I can easily put it in a backpack to take along on bike trips.

This is how far I got (the colour in this picture is quite accurate – red is sooooo hard to photograph). I’ve not yet had the time to put it on Rav as my new project – well, forecast says it’s going to rain during the weekend, so here’s hoping. 😉

And that’s it for now. If you’d like to see what my fellow YOPers are up to, or would want to join in the fun, visit us on Ravelry.

2018 / 2019 – Week 5

Sorry, no quilt. *sigh* Oh, wait – hello my dears, how are you? As you can see, it’s socks again this week. I did manage to cut some more squares for the quilt but then the heatwave got the better of me, and I spent most of my time reading („The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society“ – I’m madly in love and cannot recommend it enough), and more or less unable to move a muscle. Fortunately, we had a fabulous thunderstorm over the weekend, and temperatures did cool down a bit. Not for long, though. Ah well, before we know it, winter will be here, and I’ll be complaining about the cold. Might as well enjoy the warmth and the sun while I can.

As for the socks, these are going to be a present for a very good friend, and I just hope they’ll fit. I don’t usually knit socks for anybody other than Steve and myself because I’m afraid I won’t get the size right, and honestly, why bother with all the work and effort if they don’t fit in the end? The friend these are for has almost the same size as I have, so if they end up being just a tad too big for me, they should be perfectly right for her. I hope she’ll like the colours. (Actually, I know she will. She’s one of the few people who are absolutely knitworthy, and she’ll be so happy and grateful to receive something handmade.)

Other than that, all I did this week was change the blog template and layout. I do like to work with WordPress because it’s easy and fast, and there’s a ton of free themes and plugins out there for practically every kind of website you want to design. Some of these themes and plugins come with a price, though – and I’m not talking about money. I found out that the theme I used made six (!!!) duplicates of every photo I uploaded, in just as many different sizes. And the plugin I used to make those lovely tiled galleries even added a few more duplicates in even more sizes. I found as many as fourteen (!!!) duplicates of one photo that I had used as a featured image as well as in a gallery. Maybe I’m weird but that was something I wasn’t prepared to live with. I self-host my blog and pay for my webspace, and all those duplicates were using up an awful lot of that webspace. So I went back from my fully responsive, retina ready, mobile friendly theme and fancy tiled galleries plugin to an older theme that is much more webspace friendly and still very adjustable, and a gallery plugin that allows me to add photos from URL and still open them in a separate lightbox window. It might not look as modern and en vogue as before but it’s much more me.

And then, there’s this:

Our very first self-raised bell pepper. It’s still pretty tiny but hey, it’s a start! We also have teeny tiny tomatoes on one of our plants, and snacked on the blackberries for the first time today. This is all so exciting! If I’m not careful, I might be turning into a good housewife with all the gardening and vegetable growing, and the ironing I did today …

The Shed

Look look look, this is THE SHED aka Lillys bedroom. It’s still not finished but isn’t it lovely? Steve built it all by himself, it was hard work since he had to dig lots of holes and move an awful lot of dirt (and fell my dear old apple tree and comfort his cry baby of a wife who, as it turns out, is severely allergic to tree felling), and I’m so proud of him.

Those funny looking leafy sticks on the left are actually forsythias. We had this huge mess of a forsythia in front of the house, and when Steve removed it, he cut some stems to plant in front of the shed. They seem to be doing great, here’s hoping they’ll survive the winter. (By the way, the mommy plant is coming back as well. Apparently, forsythias are extremely hardy plants, if you don’t uproot them completely, they’ll be back! Did you just read that in Arnies voice? If so, brownie points to you.)

The apple tree had to go because it stood right in the middle of what has become the new driveway. The red currants were destined to share that very same fate but Steve managed to rescue them and find a new spot for them at the side of the shed. And mind you, they even produced some few berries!

Speaking of berries …

Can you tell what this is? Those are our very first blackberries. So our pick and taste garden is taking shape, if ever so slowly.

Yummy! Well, not quite, to be honest, even though they have this beautiful colour, they’re still rather sour. A few more days in this heatwave, and they’ll be fine, though. Speaking of heatwaves, here’s a fun fact for you: did you know that chilis get even hotter if you let them ripen in the sun for longer? I’m a little afraid to try the habaneros and chiltepinos we’re growing …

2018 / 2019 – Week 4

Socks! Again! Can you believe I finished a pair of vanillas within a mere week? Open that bottle of bubbly, we’ve got a reason to celebrate!

Seriously, I can hardly believe it myself. Inspite of a week full of travelling and long work hours, I managed to get this pair done, and even started a new project:

I started cutting the squares for my rag quilt. I got 46 of the 80 squares I need done today, and yes, there was a change of plan, I doubled the squares in size. I wanted to do 10 x 10 cm squares but now have settled for 20 x 20 cm. Of course, being the busy bee I am, this was not about getting that quilt done any faster, it was all about showing of the beautiful pieces of cotton I assembled for the quilt (that’s my story, and I’ll stick to it).

Another 34 squares, plus 80 squares of batting, and I’ll be ready for the sewing and assembling part which will be the quickest of all. I want the quilt to look similar to the pillow cover I did some time ago:

I have a couple of days off next week so who knows, I might actually finish the entire quilt. At least I should get some progress done, and make quite a dent in my fabric stash. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels to get back to being creative and crafty, and to just take the time to make something with my own hands. All of a sudden, I’ve got lots and lots and LOTS of ideas and plans and projects in my head, and I’ve got another two week holiday coming up in September, and a few vacation days left for November. The second half of this year could well turn out to be rather productive. Wish me luck, please.